Good day NXTians! How are you all doing this here happy Friday? Hope you’re well. NXT:Takeover is upon us, and the card looks like it should be a cracker, with a couple of potential show stealers on the undercard threatening to pinch the thunder of the main event between Tyson Kidd and Adrian Neville. Tyler Breeze tackling Sami Zayn for the number one contendership to the NXT Championship should be a blast, and I personally have quite high expectations for the NXT Tag Team Championship matchup between The Ascension and Localisto. On top of those two, we have the final of the NXT Women’s Championship tournament as Charlotte does battle with Natalya, and Adam Rose faces Camacho. Ready? Let’s go!
The NXT Review: 03/05/2014 – The Take Over, The Breaks Over
May 30, 2014 - 8:22:12 AM
The NXT Review: 03/05/2014 – The Take Over, The Breaks Over
Adam Rose vs Camacho
This was a straight up comedy match for the first minute or so - Rose broke a full nelson by rubbing his bum against Camacho’s crotch before leaping into his arms, like a wife being carried across the threshold after marriage. Eventually, the Tongan had had enough of his shit and levelled Rose with a forearm before stomping on him and keeping him grounded with a butterfly suplex (that still looks fabulous, it has to be said – he gets a lovely high angle on it) and then a single-arm neck tie. The crowd are hugely behind Rose, singing his theme song, and that eventually fires him up – he breaks the hold and no sells some stuff, but then gets nailed with a big boot to cut the fire down. He goes back to the neck tie, but the crowd again fire up the Party Master but only to again be dampened with a knee to the gut and a leg drop. Rose kicks out at one, and then finally gets some momentum by telegraphing a back body drop. Rose is fired up, knocking Camacho down with some big right hands and then nailing a spinebuster. A running back elbow knocks his opponent down in the corner and the bronco buster has him reeling…Party Foul, cover, three count, done. Nothing amazing, but a good start to the show that got the crowd going.
There’s a great video package here showing Zayn’s journey between ArRIVAL and Takeover – they’ve had this up on YouTube this week, and it’s absolutely excellent, Zayn putting over how important being in WWE is to him and that he’s put it before his family and relationships. He defines the differences between himself and Breeze, basically saying that Breeze is about looks while he’s about ability in the ring. It’s a strong promo from Sami, really, hypes the match and what it means to him. I like it a lot.
Tyler Breeze, meanwhile, has entered the building!
The Ascension vs Localisto
Yah! Yah! Yah! Here come The Ascension, out first for their NXT Tag Titles match – they’ve now been champions for 239 days and show no signs of being stopped. Unless, that is, Localisto can do it tonight – off the back of one impressive victory, the lucha warriors have staked their claim and got this shot. They have some terrific entrance music and are in matching green, red and silver ring gear tonight, and look like they are ready for the challenge ahead of them.
The Ascension immediately charge their opponents – but get reversed into a pair of headscissors takedowns! Localisto go for stereo dives…but they get met with a pair of uppercuts! Hot start, and Viktor immediately keeps the advantage, cutting the ring into quarters and isolating Kalisto, allowing for a pair of double teams as they switch to keep themselves fresh. The Scalpel of The Ascension gets Kalisto in a tree of woe in his own corner, allowing he and Konnor to beat him down and switch swiftly between each other, Viktor eventually levelling him with a suspended STO for a two count. Kalisto gets tied up in a chinlock, and his efforts to break it are cut off by being flung out of the ring, where Konnor majestically just hoists him up and throws him off the ropes, bouncing him into the barricade. He tries it again – but Kalisto blocks it! He pushes Konnor into the barrier, and then uses a headscissors to slam Viktor face first into the apron! He’s got some separation here…but can’t make the tag, Konnor cutting him off and getting a tag to Viktor…but the Scalpel gets caught! Kalisto dodges a back elbow and then leapfrogs over him into a hurricanrana to get the tag! El Local comes in like a house on fire, taking down both members of the opposing team, levelling Viktor with a forearm. A springboard variation goes slightly wrong, but then Local blocks an Irish whip to the corner and kicks his rival in the head…moonsault! 1…2…no, Konnor breaks it up, but from nowhere Kalisto appears and wipes him out with a roll-up, rolled through into an enziguiri! Viktor throws Kalisto out of the ring, and dodges Local coming off the top rope before levelling him with a huge STO! Viktor makes a tag to Konnor, and they hit the Fall of Man – this one is done.
Ah, this was excellent – The Ascension did their perfect cutting off of the ring which is always a delight to watch. They’re a proper heel tag team, isolating one guy and using quick tags to keep themselves fresh while wearing him down. To be honest, it felt a bit like an extended Ascension squash – the Local flurry after the tag was cut down fairly quickly and Localisto didn’t really get going at any point in the match, but when they were on the offensive it was as wonderful as it was the other week when they debuted. The truth is that The Ascension are simply too powerful for them – it makes sense, they’re a newer team whereas The Ascension have been running for nearly two years now, spending a third of that time with the titles. A shock loss is the only way I can see them losing those belts right now.
There’s a lovely Tyler Breeze video here with a fabulous voice over from the man himself. Every person has a cell phone, every cell phone has a camera, but not every camera stares back at gorgeousness. Have you seen all that Tyler Breeze can do? Definitely not. That is a great line, for the record. Breeze says he is going to win and be number one contender and then NXT Champion. Oh please, Tyler. Please do.
Tyler Breeze vs Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn has some lovely new theme music, all ska-y and full of ‘woah’s. It fits him a whole lot better than his old theme music did, so I’m down with it – he is, of course, greeted by loud ‘ole’ chants from the crowd as the commentary team put over his obsession with…oh. My. God. TYLER BREEZE HAS NEW, AMAZING THEME MUSIC SUNG BY HIMSELF. This is the best. You know how he has probably the best entrance on NXT? This has just improved it. It’s even autotuned amazingly in the chorus. I can’t praise it enough.
With Breeze reclining in the corner and staring into his phone, Sami allows himself a wry smile before the bell rings. This really is a big opportunity for Breeze to show us what he can do, and he circles Zayn, looking reticent to lock up before Zayn finally forces him in – but Breeze actually goes hold for hold with him until he gets taken down to the mat with a hard wristlock. Breeze breaks the hold by grabbing his opponents nose, but Zayn leapfrogs over him off the bottom rope and then hits a series of armdrags, holding on to the last one to lock in Jericho armbar #629. Breeze again illegally breaks the hold, this time by grabbing the hair and backing Zayn into the corner, but he gets levelled with a calf kick. Zayn is actually looking a bit frustrated by all of Breeze’s cheating antics, now attacking a bit harder and slamming his opponent into turnbuckles. He gets reversed on an Irish whip and ends up on the top rope – but Breeze throws him off the ropes to the floor! Breeze would be happy with the count out win, but Zayn gets in at seven.
Prince Pretty, however, takes advantage of Zayn now being staggered, beating him down in the corner and keeping him on the mat. He bulldogs him into the turnbuckle, which earns him a two count. Tyler hauls up his opponent by the hair, but is working over the head with right hands and slams Sami face first into the mat, before locking in a side headlock. This is certainly a good showing so far from Breeze, now he’s on the offense, and he cuts off a brief Zayn fight back initially, before Zayn throws him up into midair and drops him on the mat. Zayn sends Breeze to the outside and then bounces off the top rope on his calves to connect with a moonsault. ‘That’s something we have never seen from Sami Zayn’, says Tom Phillips. Except for, you know, in those other NXT matches he’s done it in. A cross body from Zayn gets a two count – that crossbody still looks gorgeous, for the record, just some excellent airtime from Zayn on it. Sami tries for a pump handle slam but Breeze counters it…no, Sami pulls him back in in by his waistband and connects with the Blue Thunder Bomb! 1…2…no, Breeze kicks out! Sami climbs up the turnbuckles again, but he has to leapfrog Breeze who is back on his feet. Breeze lands a kick to the midsection and then lays him out with a spinning DDT for a two count. That was fearsome, expertly executed by Breeze. Both men are now struggling to their feet, Sami trying to use the ropes…Breeze just pulls him out of the corner into a powerbomb! Woah! And only a two count – Tyler didn’t trap the shoulders with his legs! Man, come on Tyler, show me you want this. Guys, I think this is about to get seriously amazing.
Zayn is groggy in the corner and has no defence against Breeze’s right hands, with nobody referencing his recent concussion troubles…exploder into the corner from Sami! A rush of adrenaline gets him a moment of separation, but he can’t take advantage and ends up exchanging rights with Breeze…the ref gets in Zayn’s way off of an Irish whip and Breeze hooks in a roll up for a short two count, and they then switch waistlocks in the centre of the ring, Sami finally trying to use the ropes to get a roll-up but Breeze hangs on…and nails a superkick! Right on the chin! 1…2…NO? Somehow Sami kicks out! The NXT Universe are on their feet as the ref counts up as high as six, but both men look out on their feet – Breeze is hitting right hands, but they’re far apart...until Sami slaps him and causes him to see red! He wails on his opponent but that just fires Sami up and he goes for a double pumphandle orange crush…Breeze fights it and nearly turns it into a cradle after the first flip up but Zayn powers him up and nearly nails the powerbomb bit…but it’s only a two count! Botchy, but I never expected to see that. Here it is done properly. Zayn lines up the Helluva Kick, but Breeze bails on the ring, only to be caught by an over the top rope senton! Zayn throws Breeze back in to the ring and looks for the kick again…but Breeze ducks! Zayn nut shots himself against the turnbuckles, or possibly Breeze’s elbows (he was covering up while ducking), and that lets Breeze hit the Beauty Shot for the win! Breeze is the new number one contender for the NXT Championship!
Outstanding. Two guys throwing everything they have at each other – Zayn showing off even more of his varied and deep offense, Breeze hitting his moves with force and meaning in his best showing on NXT to date…yup, can’t praise this one enough. Whether it steals the show or not remains to be seen, but it was excellent and that’s enough for right now. Breeze vs Neville or Kidd should be a good match too, regardless of who wins later on – I have to say, I want it to go to Neville because Neville vs Breeze will be great for both guys, but if it’s Kidd so be it. Either way, a great match to end the first hour of the show.
Oh, Lana has bought her legs to NXT for us. Here she is, introducing Rusev waving his Russian flag while looking like he’s never waved a flag before. They say some stuff about returning to NXT and Lana demands they rise…but here’s…oh Christ…it’s Mojo Rawley and he has new theme music. Blah blah blah America – and then Mojo gets destroyed by Rusev and I get a massive grin on my face as he Accolades him to death on the entrance ramp. That’s the best thing. Important note – Mojo Rawley is absolutely bloody terrible on the microphone.
Here’s a video for the NXT Womens Championship match between Charlotte and Natalya where WWE pretend that Flair vs Hart still matters in 2014. Hint: it doesn’t. Natalya says she always felt she had to be better than her uncles, cousins and dad – I feel she should just be better, but whatever. Charlotte puts over the progress she’s made, says she’s genetically superi…I really don’t care. This is the most pointless thing ever. Just put the match on and get going. Oh man, more filler? At least it’s Paige, looking bad as hell in white skinny jeans and her t-shirt turned into a crop top. She puts over NXT, thanks the fans, says how much the NXT Women’s Championship matters in terms of getting to the main roster and that the new champion has to have style and grace. She should just be like ‘screw it, I never lost the title, I’ll take you both on in my scrubs’ and then spent fifteen minutes crosslocking both Natalya and Charlotte to poop.
<Charlotte vs Natalya
Charlotte’s new theme is a dance song with the brass (or is it strings?) from Ric Flair’s old one over it – it is flipping balling, it has to be said. NXT is really on with its theme music tonight. Unfortunately, she comes out with Ric and not Sasha, so…I don’t know what this means for the BFFs. Break up? Anyway, here’s Natalya, who brings out Uncle Bret, a man who will be as much use at ringside as a chocolate teapot I don’t doubt. Look, I get the history behind this and stuff, but this is just making a song and dance about mudslinging in autobiographies. I couldn’t give a shit. This is two old men standing at ringside for no reason.
Charles Robinson (he’s bent! He can’t be trusted to be impartial in this one, come on!) holds up the title and the women wrestle. Natalya takes Charlotte down out of a collar and elbow, but Charlotte pops out of the cover. Rear waistlock from Natalya now, but she gets turned over by Charlotte into a hammerlock. Natalya turns it over with a firemans carry, but Charlotte headscissors out. Natalya with the side headlock takedown now, but Charlotte works her way to her feet and rolls her off. Some lovely mat exchanges here, Natalya mostly having the advantage but Charlotte countering at every opportunity – she now cartwheels out of a wristlock and takes down the veteran with an armbar. Nattie rolls through and pulls out her opponents legs, grapevining the left shin and wrenching back on the leg. The Nature Girl gets her other leg free and pushes Natalya down, breaking the hold, and she blocks a kick from her opponent but the Pink and Black Attack takes her down to a toehold, reversed into a chinlock by Charlotte…but Natalya reverses that. This is excellent stuff, basic wrestling moves throughout but executed perfectly and the reversals are on point too. Nattie taunts Ric Flair with a ‘woo’ of her own, and then nearly rolls up her opponent after coming off the ropes but only gets a two count. Nattie with the leg scissors here on Charlotte – she turns it into a pin, but her opponent breaks out of it and pounds her against the mat…but she gets reversed into a cross armbreaker, does she, no, the BFF just slips out. Charlotte is getting testy and slaps her opponent, but Nattie gives as good as she gets then rolls her up for a two count…and Charlotte then brutalises her with a pair of knees and a discus chop to the chest. Flair gets on the apron, all up in Nattie’s face wooing away and…well, Bret Hart walks towards him. How threatening!
Charlotte whips Natalya across to one corner, but she avoids her rushing in, only to get pounded against the turnbuckles out of a waistlock…but Nattie leaps up into a sleeper, only to get dropped with a jawbreaker for a two count to Charlotte. And another pin ends in the same fashion, and finally Charlotte is showing her dirty sound, pounding Nattie’s face against the mat and then choking her out with a boot in the corner, then dragging her out by her feet and slamming her against the mat. She gets a two count for her troubles, and then locks in the figure four headlock, slamming Nattie into the mat face first to add insult to injury. This is, it has to be said, pretty good stuff so far, as Charlotte locks in an abdominal stretch and adds some flex to it by shaking her opponent. Nattie reverses it into one of her own and turns it into a pin, but Charlotte rolls out of that and connects with a dropkick for a two count of her own. The Nature Girls is beating on her opponent in the corner, but Natalya turns a clothesline into a butterfly suplex and then levels her with a clothesline before screaming before a snapmare because that clearly requires a lot of effort. She runs over her opponent and gets a two count, looking frustrated, and she whips Charlotte to the corner where she Flair’s her way out of the ring. But Nattie knocks her off the apron…only to get slammed to the floor by the leg by her opponent. Brutal! That’s possibly a chance for Charlotte to use the figure four in the rest of this match, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Charlotte gets a two count back in the ring, which her dad protests from the corner. As he does this, his daughter climbs the turnbuckles looking for a moonsault…but Nattie rolls out of the way! Charlotte eats canvas! A ‘this is awesome’ chant goes up from the crowd, possibly a little prematurely to be honest, and a discus clothesline from Natalya gets a two count…and she locks in the sharpshooter! The pain is etched on Charlotte’s face…but she rolls it through and into a figure four! Looked a little clumsy, to be honest, but I’ll take it. Nattie rolls it through, but over does it and gets Charlotte on the top again! The slap each other about, but this is persisten work from Charlotte who just will not break the hold, even when Nattie stiffs her with an open palm...and she ends up rolling out of the ring, hanging Nattie up in the ropes but still with the figure four on! Lil’ Naitch eventually breaks the hold, and Charlotte uses the separation to kick her Canadian opponent into the steel steps. She tosses her back in, walking tall and looking undamaged from the sharpshooter…she goes for the figure four…no, she looks at Bret Hart and turns it into a sharpshooter! What a heel! Nattie looks close to tapping, her hand shaking in midair…but she repeats the reversal of Charlotte and looks for a figure four. She complete Miz’s it, though, not knowing where to put which leg, and when she gets pushed away the opening lets Charlotte hit Bow Down To The Queen! 1…2…3! Charlotte is the new NXT Women’s Champion!
She embraces her dad, then turns and hugs Natalya while Ric embraces Bret, then everybody hugs everyone else and all that fake animosity they were pretending existed just disappears like that. What a surprise! It’s like they’d already put it behind them years ago and WWE had just resurrected it for the purpose of this match. What a match it was, though – lovely mat stuff in the beginning, and it built well to the end as well. One thing, one tiny thing, that sort of didn’t work from me is that it went to quickly. There wasn’t really a middle section to the match, they went through their opening mat exchanges and then switched through the gears far too quickly. That is, for me, what marks it as not being quite as good as Paige vs Emma from ArRIVAL – that one had a distinct beginning, middle and end, whereas this almost completely skipped that middle section for me. Still, ten times better than any other women’s match we’ll see on the main roster this year, no doubt.
Adrian Neville vs Tyson Kidd
Neville puts Tyson Kidd over as being his biggest test to date as NXT Champion in a video package before the main event, while Tyson gets a hug from Natalya. Here he comes, Sexually Unsatisfying Tyson Kidd, striding down to the ring while Regal puts this over as probably his last chance here to catapult himself up to the main roster. Neville, meanwhile, is super over as he has been since becoming champion, and has the fans doing his finger point to the sky thing as he makes his way into the ring. Eden gives us the big match introductions and this one is go. My guess is this is the first title match in history where both men have been smaller than the referee, by the way.
The two circle each other before the initial lock up, and they circle around the ring while tied up, eventually causing the ref to break the hold in a corner. The two shake hands and then get back to it, circling and locking up, Kidd taking Neville to the mat but the Jumping Geordie twisting his way up to his feet only to get taken down again in a chinlock. Neville nearly works his way out, but Kidd locks in a wristlock and takes down Neville, before escaping a headscissors and patting him on the shoulder. The two lock up again, Kidd gaining the advantage and oh good Lord are they trying to establish Kidd as a better wrestler than Neville here? That feels like what they’re trying to do. Adrian spins and whips and turns his way out of a wristlock because he is clearly superior, and that sends Kidd to the ropes where they stare each other down again. Neville now gains the advantage as Kidd charges out of the corner, armdragging him down and locking in Jericho armbar #32, and he keeps it locked in during a back body drop, wrenching the arm until Kidd hits the ropes. They run the ropes, dodging each other, until Neville comes out of a monkey flip onto his feet and they whiff dropkicks at each other before kipping up in stereo. Because American Wolves, I guess.
They share some smack and Tyson has finally had enough, levelling his opponent with an elbow and stomping on him on the mat. Hey, finally some fire in this match! Hurrah! A hard Irish whip into the corner sends Neville reeling, and Kidd puts him up in a tree of woe, lifting him and kicking him hard in the back three times before nailing a running dropkick to the face. Kidd just stands up and stares out across the NXT Universe, his eyes soulless, and then he whips Neville off the ropes and into a back elbow, before tying in a chinlock. He screams that he needs this at his opponent, who is stuck on the mat now. Neville fights his way to his feet and out of the hold, but he gets hung up on the top rope with a flapjack and dropkicked to the outside, followed by a summersault senton through the middle ropes. Tyson throws Neville back into the ring but can’t get the win, so he goes for another chinlock. Neville gets back to his feet fairly easily, and he gets a boot up to block Tyson coming him. He comes off the ropes, but so does Kidd and they collide in midair after both going for crossbodies. Both men finally get to their feet, and it’s Neville who gets the advantage by blocking right hands and connecting with a series of elbows and kicks to knock Tyson down. Neville goes up the turnbuckles but bails when he sees Kidd running in and instead puts him up in the tree of woe, echoing Tyson’s moves from earlier by kicking him in the back and then hitting a dropkick. A springboard forearm gets a two count for the Jumping Geordie, who has shifted momentum to his advantage now. I’ll be honest, not completely feeling this so far – good match but I’m just not really invested in it. These two aren’t giving me much, and the storyline is one that I’ve seen a few times before and really don’t like. Hmm.
Neville comes back after that close pin fall, but Tyson pops up with an elbow to the temple and then gets boots up and backflips over the ropes…Neville kicks him off the apron though and goes for a dive to the outside, but he gets cut off by the boot of Kidd, delivered right to the temple. That earns him a two count, and Kidd climbs the turnbuckles in an attempt to hit something…but he takes too long and his opponent meets him with an elbow! Neville joins him on the top rope, but Kidd nails him and looks for a sunset flip powerbomb…but he completely misses and Neville backflips off the ropes. I mean, I know what they were going for but it looked like shit. Kidd looks amazed but…it’s just a backflip? Like, how is that so amazing? It didn’t even look right? Anyway, Kidd runs into a pop-up powerbomb which looks sweet as shit but only earns a two count, and the Brit then delivers some hard kicks to the sternum, one after an Irish whip…but Kidd leaps up onto the second rope as Neville goes for a springboard and lands a side Russian legsweep! OK, that looked pretty tidy, and gets Kidd a two count. The Canuck climbs the ropes again, but he looks groggy and misses…whatever he was going for…he basically Tamina’d it and landed on his feet. Neville rolls out of a sharpshooter attempt, and Kidd hits a low dropkick out of the pin and goes for a suplex only to be blocked by his opponent…who suplexes them both to the outside! The ref is counting…and both guys get back in at nine and a half. Neither looks like they have much left in the tank, and the ref is counting them down again as they use each other to get to their feet. They trade tired elbows until Neville ducks a clothesline and connects with a chop…Kidd blocks him running in and goes for the sharpshooter but Neville works it over so Kidd changes it up into the dungeon lock! I haven’t seen the dungeon lock in ages! He kicks at the head of Neville, urging him to give up, but the Geordie isn’t down and manages to grab the ropes. Neville takes his time to get to his feet and ends up hung up in the ropes courtesy of a knee from Kidd who connects with a summersault legdrop off the top rope for a two count. Kidd looks perplexed, like he’s out of options, but he climbs to the top rope again, perhaps looking for the blockbuster…but Neville grabs his legs and stops him once, twice…and on the third time he bounces up for a hurricanrana! Red Arrow…lands it! 1…2…3! Neville retains! Neville retains!
That took a while to get going – the opening exchanges were excellent but lacked some spice for me and just didn’t get me going. However, the moment Tyson hit that elbow to the temple after those exchanges it was on point and fiery – there was enough unique offense in there to let it stand alone as a match, and once they dropped the ‘oh heck, we’re so identical’ stuff that wasn’t really necessary (it’s not like we’re talking about guys who have come up together as a team or anything, after all, so for two men without a history to try that sort of story was odd) and just went at each other it was an excellent match. Kidd rejected a handshake at the end, so I guess they’re changing him up on the back of this which is possibly just what he needs to be honest – depending on what the deal is with Graves NXT could do with a strong heel regularly appearing on the show. But yeah, this was a good wrestling match, although the two before it (and Mojo getting destroyed, as well) were more entertaining in my opinion.
And that’s the show – a second excellent live outing for NXT this year. Difficult to place next to ArRIVAL, as I felt that one had the superior in ring action on the three main events, but this card had more depth to it and so probably edges slightly ahead of it top to bottom. I’m not doing an MVP – the show was far too good to single out one person – but Charlotte notably impressed me more than I thought she would up against Natalya and showed how good she can actually be when not hamstrung in terms of timing or anything. She is a great heel, and should be a top champion. Hopefully they line up Bayley to have a run at her now. Outside of that, Neville and Kidd were good in the main event although slightly had an issue with getting some connection going – probably the problem both guys have, really, and something I’ve talked about in this before. Zayn vs Breeze was certainly the match of the night for me, and the two before it were good matches – Rose vs Camacho was by the book but worked well as an opener, and the tag title match worked really well in showing off what each team can do, although Kalisto getting the hot tag might have been a better arrangement.
So, hope you enjoyed this again, NXTians - two hours makes this a lengthy column, so I appreciate it if you stuck it out to the end. Next week, I'm not completely sure what will be on the show - I'm on holiday, so might night be able to find the time to write it up until the Monday after if you're keeping an eye out for it. Until next time then, NXTians, stay safe when crossing the road and drink more hot chocolate! TTFN!